Visualize Google Cloud Storage Data in Tableau

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Google Cloud Storage ODBC Driver

The Google Cloud Storage ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Google Cloud Storage, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Google Cloud Storage data like you would a database.



The CData ODBC driver for Google Cloud Storage enables you integrate Google Cloud Storage data into Tableau dashboards.

The CData ODBC Driver for Google Cloud Storage enables you to access live Google Cloud Storage data in business intelligence tools like Tableau. In this article, you will integrate Google Cloud Storage data into a dashboard that reflects changes to Google Cloud Storage data in real time.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live Google Cloud Storage data in Tableau due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from Tableau to Google Cloud Storage, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to Google Cloud Storage and utilizes the embedded SQL engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze Google Cloud Storage data using native Tableau data types.

Connect to Google Cloud Storage as an ODBC Data Source

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Authenticate with a User Account

You can connect without setting any connection properties for your user credentials. After setting InitiateOAuth to GETANDREFRESH, you are ready to connect.

When you connect, the Google Cloud Storage OAuth endpoint opens in your default browser. Log in and grant permissions, then the OAuth process completes

Authenticate with a Service Account

Service accounts have silent authentication, without user authentication in the browser. You can also use a service account to delegate enterprise-wide access scopes.

You need to create an OAuth application in this flow. See the Help documentation for more information. After setting the following connection properties, you are ready to connect:

  • InitiateOAuth: Set this to GETANDREFRESH.
  • OAuthJWTCertType: Set this to "PFXFILE".
  • OAuthJWTCert: Set this to the path to the .p12 file you generated.
  • OAuthJWTCertPassword: Set this to the password of the .p12 file.
  • OAuthJWTCertSubject: Set this to "*" to pick the first certificate in the certificate store.
  • OAuthJWTIssuer: In the service accounts section, click Manage Service Accounts and set this field to the email address displayed in the service account Id field.
  • OAuthJWTSubject: Set this to your enterprise Id if your subject type is set to "enterprise" or your app user Id if your subject type is set to "user".
  • ProjectId: Set this to the Id of the project you want to connect to.

The OAuth flow for a service account then completes.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Add Google Cloud Storage Data to a Dashboard

  1. Click Connect to Data -> More Servers -> Other Databases (ODBC).
    Select the CData Data Source Name (for example: CData GoogleCloudStorage Source).
  2. In the Database menu, select CData.
  3. In the Table box, enter a table name or click New Custom SQL to enter an SQL query. This article retrieves the Buckets table.
  4. Drag the table onto the join area. At this point, you can include multiple tables, leveraging the built-in SQL engine to process complex data requests.
  5. In the Connection menu, select the Live option, so that you skip loading a copy of the data into Tableau and instead work on real-time data. The optimized data processing native to CData ODBC drivers enables unmatched performance in live connectivity.
  6. Click the tab for your worksheet. Columns are listed as Dimensions and Measures, depending on the data type. The CData driver discovers data types automatically, allowing you to leverage the powerful data processing and visualization features of Tableau.
  7. Drop the Name column in the Dimensions pane onto the dashboard. When you select dimensions, Tableau builds a query to the driver. The results are grouped based on that dimension. In Tableau, the raw query is automatically modified as you select dimensions and measures.
  8. Drag the OwnerId column in the Measures field onto the Detail and Color buttons. Tableau executes the following query:

    SELECT Name, SUM(OwnerId) FROM Buckets GROUP BY Name

    When you select a measure, Tableau executes a command to the driver to calculate a summary function, such as SUM, AVG, etc., on the grouped values. The SQL engine (embedded within the driver) is leveraged to process the aggregation of the data, where needed, providing a seamless experience in Tableau, regardless of the data source.

    To change the summary function, open the OwnerId menu and select the summary you want in the Measure command.

  9. You can create other charts using dimensions and measures to build SQL queries visually:

With the CData ODBC Driver for Google Cloud Storage, you get live connectivity to your Google Cloud Storage data, allowing you to build real-time charts, graphs, and more.